New Survey Shows Americans Take Steps to Fend Off Colds and Flu

​According to the Centers for Disease Control, common colds and  flu are the main reason adults miss work. While a cold can be severe, the flu can be life threatening since more than 20woman-washing-hands0,000 people are hospitalized each year for seasonal flu-related complications. In the midst of cold and flu season, Americans are taking action to avoid getting sick, according to the 2016 Healthy Hand Washing Survey conducted by Bradley Corporation.

The Healthy Hand Washing Survey queried 1,062 American adults online about their hand washing habits in public restrooms and concerns about germs, colds and the flu. Participants were from around the country, were 18 years and older, and were fairly evenly split between men and women (47 and 53 percent).

“This time of year, we’re surrounded by family, friends and co-workers who are sick or may be getting sick. That’s why it’s so important to realize the first defense against illness is to remove germs and viruses from our hands by washing frequently and vigorously,” says Jon Dommisse, director of global marketing and strategic development at Bradley Corp.

The survey found that 71% of adults always make it a point to wash their hands after handling a sick child. Hand washing with soap is needed
when coming in contact with a sick individual in order to avoid the risk of contracting an illness yourself. The research has shown virus particles can
travel up to 12 feet through the air when someone coughs or sneezes. The study showed that human influenza viruses generally can survive on surfaces for two to eight hours.

“Flu viruses can be highly contagious and can be transferred to your hands by touching surfaces or things that have been contaminated,” says Dommisse. “When there’s an outbreak, it’s essential to step up your hand washing diligence.”

The survey specifically asked respondents about their hand washing behavior in public restrooms since germs from many different sources
can be found in those locations. The survey found that 40% of Americans don’t increase their hand washing during seasonal flu outbreaks.